Samsung washing machine
Samsung believes the safeguard measure will greatly affect U.S. consumers. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

South Korean tech giants Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have responded to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision on the recommendations raised by the International Trade Commission over washing machines that the two companies are bringing to the U.S.

Upon learning that Trump has not only agreed to the restrictions, but also decided on imposing harsher safeguard measures on its washers, Samsung issued a statement saying the new restrictions will mostly affect U.S. consumers. “With this decision, the US consumers who want Samsung washer‘s innovative functions and designs are given the burden of purchasing them at higher prices,” the Galaxy Note 8 maker stated.

The decision was announced more than a week after Samsung’s South Carolina factory began its operations — a move that was rushed by the company in hopes of hampering the implementation of the new restrictions. Now Samsung is saying that production and supplies at its new U.S.-based plant will continue without any problems, Korea Herald has learned.

LG criticized Trump’s decision and expressed its disappointment over the new restrictions. “We are very disappointed in this misguided decision, which far exceeds what the US ITC recommended,” LG said. “This is a textbook case about how certain companies can game the process to use trade laws to try to accomplish what they can’t accomplish in the marketplace.”

LG went on to point out that with the safeguard measures in place, operations at its under-construction plant in Tennessee is at risk. Previously, the V30 maker publicly disclosed that it was doing its best to have the factory up and running by the end of this year. But now it fears that the ITC’s restrictions will hinder the operations of the factory and threaten local jobs.

On Tuesday, the U.S. trade commission announced that it is imposing a 20 percent tariff on the first 1.2 million of imported washers and a 50 percent tariff on washing machines that exceed the 1.2 million units. The tariff rates are then expected to decline in the third year to 16 percent and 40 percent, respectively.

The new rules come on the heels of Trump’s controversial statement about South Korean washers being sold in the U.S. during an interview at the White House. “South Korea is destroying what was once a good job-producing business [by] dumping washing machines into the United States.”

South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-jong has vowed to file a petition with the World Trade Organization in response to the safeguard measures. “Based on my experience as a member of WTO’s Appellate Body, I think things are favorable for the Korean side,” Kim was quoted as saying during a meeting with government agencies and businesses by The Investor.